Back in the Bronx, the Yankees will look to continue the momentum of a 7-3 road trip, followed by last night’s triple play-to-walk-off win. Gerrit Cole, however, takes the bump following his worst start of the season, having allowed five runs in as many innings to the otherwise anemic Texas Rangers’ offense. Aside from that aberrant outing, Cole’s been nothing short of spectacular, pitching his way to a solid cushion between him and the rest of the American League’s Cy Young contenders. To date, he’s still pushing a 2.03 ERA while leading the majors with his 17/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Cole’s counterpart for this afternoon’s matchup is the hard-throwing Dylan Cease. The 25-year-old has overcome some of his previous struggles with control in the early going, jumping out to a 2.42 ERA through eight starts in 2021. Cease has sharpened his electric raw talent this season, improving the movement on all of his offspeed pitches to complement his fastball capable of approaching triple-digits with elite spin. He’s thrown at least five innings and 88 pitches in each of his last four starts, so the Yankees will have to deal with the young right-hander for at least a couple of turns, lest they’re able to jump on him early.
For today’s game, Aaron Boone’s gone with an unusual alignment, batting Luke Voit leadoff for the first time since August of last year. After battling his way to a knock late in last night’s contest, Brett Gardner moves up into the two-hole, followed by the resurgent bats of Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, and Gleyber Torres. However, DJ LeMahieu will get the day off, barring a late-inning, pinch-hit appearance, as Boone has been wont to do when otherwise resting his sluggers.
Predictably, Kyle Higashioka gets the start behind the dish as Gerrit Cole’s batterymate while Miguel Andújar makes his fourth straight start in left, having recorded at least a knock in five of his last six starts. Though he’s yet to flash any of the power he did in his breakout rookie campaign, he’s looked a bit better at the plate recently than he did during his 0-for-15 start to the season. Hopefully tonight, Andújar will be able to avoid another defensive foible after failing to cede to Gardner on a lazy fly ball between the two outfielders last night, despite the center fielder clearly having called him off.
How to watch
Location: Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York, NY
First pitch: 1:05 p.m. ET
TV broadcast: YES, NBC Sports Chicago
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280, WMVP 1000 AM
Online stream: MLB.tv, Fubo